Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings

ARI
9
MIN
20
FINAL
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ARI 36009
MIN 7001320

Game Information
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 66,698

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) After finishing third-to-last in the league last season in rushing yards, the Minnesota Vikings are determined to re-establish a viable ground game.

Dalvin Cook ought to be up for the task. The way their passing attack fared on Saturday against Arizona, well, he better be.

Cook had an 85-yard touchdown run, the highlight of an otherwise rough first half by the first-team offense in a 20-9 victory by the Vikings over the Cardinals.

"That was a bright spot, certainly, a very special run. Great to see him pull away from everybody," said Kirk Cousins, who went just 3 for 13 for 35 yards while taking two sacks in six drives.

Cook scored early and Mike Boone crossed the goal line late, as the Vikings totaled 190 yards on 29 carries. Third-string quarterback Kyle Sloter kept up his preseason success, completing six of seven passes for 102 yards and a touchdown to fullback Khari Blasingame.

Coach Mike Zimmer was unsettled afterward, though, with the performance by his starters on both sides of the ball leaving a bad impression, particularly the offense.

"Especially after Dalvin's long touchdown, I felt like they relaxed, and they got slower, tempo-wise," Zimmer said. "We didn't get in and out of the huddle. We were slow at the line of scrimmage. We had dropped balls, penalties."

Cousins was under frequent pressure and had multiple passes knocked down at the line.

"If we play, or I should say I, if I play the way I did today, it's going to be a long year," Cousins said. "So we're going to have to be a lot better, and thankfully, I know we can be."

To top it off, recent acquisition Kaare Vedvik missed field goals from 43 and 54 yards.

"I'm not truly aware of how I'm perceived from the outside in, so I kind of keep my eyes on the practice field and on what I do," Vedvik said. "Everything else is just kind of outside noise that you're not supposed to read into."

Vedvik, who has been given an extended evaluation as both a kicker and a punter, made both of his extra-point attempts, at least, while incumbent Dan Bailey took the afternoon off. Matt Wile punted six times for an average of 47.3 yards, leaving no more clarity about the specialists than when the month began.

"Since we brought Vedvik in, Wile's been punting good, and Bailey's been kicking good, and then Vedvik goes out there and misses field goals," Zimmer said. "I don't know. I'm at a loss on that."

Cardinals rookie Kyler Murray, the first overall pick in the draft to whom new coach Kliff Kingsbury has turned to lead the reconstruction project, was relatively sharp while going 14 for 21 for 137 yards over the five possessions. Three drives ended with a successful field goal by Zane Gonzalez.

"I thought he made good decisions, whether it's to take off and move, or get out of the pocket and make quick decisions," Kingsbury said. "Had some things we'd like to have back, but it's all about progress. Each week we wanted to get better, and this is playing against a very good defense that showed multiple looks."

Another Cardinals draft pick, KeeSean Johnson, stood out on the other side of the ball with seven receptions for 85 yards on seven targets.

CLAP YOUR HANDS NOW

One of the most exasperating aspects of the performance for Kingsbury and his staff were the 14 penalties for 111 yards, including two false starts called on backup quarterback Brett Hundley in a three-play stretch late in the second quarter while clapping his hands during the pre-snap signaling process.

Murray also had that penalty problem in their first preseason game, and the Cardinals are concerned enough about the subjectivity of those calls that they're leaning toward relying on silent counts or leg lifts to avoid a flag.

"I think we're all trying to figure it out," Hundley said. "A couple of those, I have no idea."

THE LONG RUN

The Cardinals were last in the league last season in rushing defense, allowing an average of nearly 155 yards per game that was bumped up by the Vikings here last Oct. 14 in a 27-17 victory fueled by a career-high 155 rushing yards from Latavius Murray.

Cook made the Cardinals look bad again, when he took a handoff to the left and veered right behind key seal blocks by right guard Josh Kline and tight end Kyle Rudolph. The new zone-blocking scheme favored by offensive adviser Gary Kubiak ought to be a good fit for Cook with his keen cutback ability. The touchdown run was the longest in a preseason game in Vikings history, topping a 76-yarder by Jordan Todman in 2012.

SITTING OUT

Cardinals: New WR Michael Crabtree, the 11th-year veteran who signed with the team earlier this week, did not suit up. Neither did CB Patrick Peterson, the eight-time Pro Bowl pick facing a six-game suspension to start the regular season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancers.

"We wanted to see what we had in the other guys," Kingsbury said. "It's tough when you have one of the best cornerbacks in the game sitting over there watching, but we had a good plan going into training camp, and we stuck to it."

Vikings: DT Linval Joseph, who joined the team for practice this week for the first time since offseason shoulder surgery, was held out of the starting lineup, as was SS Harrison Smith. On offense, WR Adam Thielen rested, and RT Brian O'Neill stayed on the sideline again, after returning to the field this week following a three-week absence because of a right arm injury. Zimmer said Smith and Thielen were held out as a precaution with minor injuries.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: Play at Denver on Thursday night in their final exhibition game. The regular-season opener is Sept. 8 against Detroit.

Vikings: Play at Tennessee on Thursday night in their final exhibition game. The regular-season opener is Sept. 8 against Atlanta.

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1st Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Vikings
07:52 Zane Gonzalez 32 yd FG 3 0
07:10 Dalvin Cook 85 yd run (Kaare Vedvik kick) 3 7

2nd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Vikings
13:12 Zane Gonzalez 38 yd FG 6 7
05:10 Zane Gonzalez 47 yd FG 9 7

3rd Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Vikings
No scoring this quarter.

4th Quarter Summary
Time Team Play Detail Cardinals Vikings
08:20 Mike Boone 7 yd run (failed 2pt Pass from Kyle Sloter) 9 13
00:50 Khari Blasingame 15 yd pass from Kyle Sloter (Kaare Vedvik kick) 9 20

Team Stats
  Arizona Minnesota
1st Downs 15 18
Total Yards 362 368
Passing 292 178
Passing Completions/Attempts 29-46 15-29
Yards/Pass 6.2 5.6
Rushing 70 190
Rushing Attempts 20 29
Yards/Rush 3.5 6.6
Turnovers 0 0
Fumbles Lost 0 0
Interceptions Thrown 0 0
Possession 31:37 28:23

Arizona Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Brett Hundley 15 25 165 6.6 0 0
Kyler Murray 14 21 137 6.5 0 0

Minnesota Passing
Player CP ATT YDS AVG TD INT
Kyle Sloter 6 7 102 14.6 1 0
Sean Mannion 6 9 57 6.3 0 0
Kirk Cousins 3 13 35 2.7 0 0

Arizona Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
David Johnson 9 34 3.8 0 12
Chase Edmonds 3 13 4.3 0 6
Kyler Murray 4 9 2.2 0 5
T.J. Logan 2 9 4.5 0 7
Brett Hundley 2 5 2.5 0 5

Minnesota Rushing
Player ATT YDS AVG TD LG
Dalvin Cook 2 88 44.0 1 85
Mike Boone 10 41 4.1 1 20
De'Angelo Henderson 10 36 3.6 0 9
Alexander Mattison 6 18 3.0 0 10
Ameer Abdullah 1 7 7.0 0 7

Arizona Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
KeeSean Johnson 7 85 12.1 0 29
Pharoh Cooper 3 59 19.7 0 41
Damiere Byrd 2 51 25.5 0 33
Chase Edmonds 2 24 12.0 0 18
Ricky Seals-Jones 3 22 7.3 0 17
T.J. Logan 2 17 8.5 0 9
D.J. Foster 1 9 9.0 0 9
Andy Isabella 1 8 8.0 0 8
David Johnson 2 7 3.5 0 10
Maxx Williams 1 6 6.0 0 6
Christian Kirk 2 5 2.5 0 4
Larry Fitzgerald 1 5 5.0 0 5
Charles Clay 2 4 2.0 0 4

Minnesota Receiving
Player REC YDS AVG TD LG
Olabisi Johnson 3 52 17.3 0 22
Stefon Diggs 2 28 14.0 0 29
Brandon Dillon 1 28 28.0 0 28
Tyler Conklin 1 20 20.0 0 20
Jordan Taylor 2 19 9.5 0 12
Khari Blasingame 1 15 15.0 1 15
Dillon Mitchell 1 10 10.0 0 10
Brandon Zylstra 1 7 7.0 0 7
Mike Boone 1 6 6.0 0 6
Ameer Abdullah 1 5 5.0 0 5
Cole Hikutini 1 4 4.0 0 4

Arizona Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Deionte Thompson 6 3 0 0
Chris Jones 5 0 0 0
Brooks Reed 4 0 1 5
Miles Brown 3 0 0 0
Dante Booker 2 1 0 0
Dennis Gardeck 2 1 0 0
Jordan Hicks 2 0 0 0
Pita Taumoepenu 2 1 0 0
Jalen Thompson 2 2 0 0
Michael Dogbe 1 1 1 8
Zach Allen 1 1 0.5 1
Nate Brooks 1 0 0 0
Jonathan Owens 1 0 0 0
Hayes Pullard 1 0 0 0
D.J. Swearinger 1 0 0 0
Zeke Turner 1 0 0 0
Joe Walker 1 3 0 0
Pete Robertson 0 1 0.5 1
Darrell Daniels 0 0 0 0
Vontarrius Dora 0 0 0 0
Rodney Gunter 0 1 0 0
Jeff Holland 0 1 0 0
Chandler Jones 0 1 0 0
Terrell McClain 0 1 0 0
Byron Murphy 0 0 0 0
Terrell Suggs 0 0 0 0
Pasoni Tasini 0 1 0 0

Minnesota Defense
Player TACKLES ASST SACKS SACK YDS
Anthony Barr 5 1 0 0
Devante Downs 4 1 1 10
Kris Boyd 4 1 0 0
Mackensie Alexander 3 0 0 0
Marcus Epps 3 0 0 0
Ben Gedeon 3 1 0 0
Eric Wilson 3 0 0 0
Jayron Kearse 2 0 0 0
Greer Martini 2 0 0 0
Ifeadi Odenigbo 2 0 0 0
Karter Schult 2 0 0 0
Everson Griffen 1 1 0 0
Jalyn Holmes 1 1 0 0
Eric Kendricks 1 0 0 0
Nate Meadors 1 1 0 0
Derron Smith 1 0 0 0
Shamar Stephen 1 2 0 0
Duke Thomas 1 0 0 0
Trae Waynes 1 0 0 0
Ameer Abdullah 0 0 0 0
Bene Benwikere 0 1 0 0
Mike Boone 0 0 0 0
Reshard Cliett 0 1 0 0
Jaleel Johnson 0 1 0 0
Cameron Smith 0 0 0 0
Armon Watts 0 1 0 0
Stephen Weatherly 0 0 0 0

Arizona Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Minnesota Interceptions
Player INT YDS TD
No interceptions.

Arizona Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
No kick return stats.

Minnesota Kick Returns
Player KR YDS AVG TD LNG
Olabisi Johnson 1 36 36.0 0 36
Mike Boone 1 26 26.0 0 26

Arizona Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Damiere Byrd 1 28 28.0 0 28
Pharoh Cooper 3 10 3.3 0 5

Minnesota Punt Returns
Player PR YDS AVG TD LNG
Ameer Abdullah 2 27 13.5 0 17
Chad Beebe 1 5 5.0 0 5

Arizona Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Zane Gonzalez 3 3 100.0 47

Minnesota Kicking
Player FGM FGA PCT LG
Kaare Vedvik 0 2 0.0

Arizona Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Ryan Winslow 4 160 61
Andy Lee 3 154 58

Minnesota Punting
Player PUNTS YDS LG
Matt Wile 6 284 55